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University of Colombo walks away with top honours at 99x’s Hacktitude 2022

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Hacktitude’s top 12 teams together with 99x’s organizing committee

99x’s innovative use of technology saw over 600 undergraduates from across the island virtually participate in the inter-university hackathon Hacktitude last week. After nine hours of non-stop coding, Dalana Dharmathilake, Ashan Rathnaweera and Visal Jayathilaka of University of Colombo’s School of Computing (UCSC) walked away with top honours.

Just 12 teams from the 230 registered were able to score the full points and it was these outstanding 12 teams that were recognised at the awards ceremony hosted at Kingsbury, Colombo earlier this week. The winning team from UCSC received developer-grade, high-end Apple MacBooks for the entire team. The first and second runners-up were from the University of Moratuwa’s Computer Science and Engineering Faculty (UOM-CSE), and this faculty was also awarded the Hackitude Championship Trophy as the highest scoring university.

“Most undergraduates possess knowledge but lack the skills and capabilities required when entering the job market,” observed 99x Chief People Officer Damitha Jayasinghe. “However, by participating in Hacktitude, these 600+ students challenged themselves and improved their technical skills. The tests were created to give participants exposure to problems faced in real client projects, allowing them to develop their industry readiness before entering the job market.”

He added that it was an inspiring and exciting time for the 99x team as well, especially with the numerous positive comments received by the participants, who shared that they had learned a lot from the event.

Commenting on their Hacktitude experience, Dalana Dharmathilake of the winning team ‘NamakNa’, stated: “The format of the hackathon was a new experience for us all. It was challenging but very enjoyable. I think Hacktitude is a great competition for undergraduates to test and improve their skills in developing production-grade code. We are looking forward to participating in the next year as well. Thank you 99x for organizing such an amazing hackathon.”

Hacktitude saw undergraduates from 18 state and private universities participate and a noteworthy contribution from a group of enterprising boys from Ananda College. UCSC and UOM-CSE dominated the top 10 with their technical prowess, with the 11th and 12th teams hailing from the National School of Business Management (NSBM) and University of Moratuwa’s Information Technology faculty respectively.

A compulsory requirement of each participating team was the inclusion of an academic coach, a member of the university faculty who will mentor the teams throughout the competition. Pasindu Marasinghe, as academic coach of the winning UCSC team, also walked away with a MacBook and many prizes as he coached three other teams in the top 10.

The entire event was made possible by DevGrade, a first-of-its-kind platform developed by 99x to train product engineers, which too was put to the test in supporting the work of over 600 young developers over a period of nine hours. Given this success, 99x plans to continue Hacktitude as an annual event and is now exploring the possibility of extending it to schoolchildren, to educate them about ICT from a young age.

99x is a technology company co-creating well-engineered, innovative digital products for the Scandinavian market. Its expertise has been proven through a portfolio of over 150 impactful global digital products, developed together with leading Independent Software Vendors (ISVs). 99x employs over 350 technology and product specialists, who are high achievers, creative thinkers and team players. The company is one of Asia’s Best Workplaces for 2021 and has been named a Best Workplace in Sri Lanka for nine consecutive years.



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Dialog Smart Home Enables Seamless Home Automation via Range of Intuitive Solutions 

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Dialog Axiata PLC, Sri Lanka’s premier connectivity provider, introduced a range of convenient and integrated solutions via ‘Dialog Smart Home’ to enable intelligent automation and intuitive control of homes.

The newly introduced range of future-fit smart home solutions by Dialog Smart Home ranges from Home Automation, Home Security & Surveillance and Home Connectivity, and are designed to enable any home to work as one harmonious system where all elements work in tandem together to create a truly intelligent home.

The Home Automation solutions offer homeowners seamless and convenient control of their electronic appliances through their smartphones anytime, anywhere. With the Smart Touch Wall Switches, Smart Power Strips and Smart Fan Controllers, homeowners can take control of existing light bulbs, table fans, rice cookers, chargers, ceiling fans and more appliances. Additionally, the Artificial Intelligence (AI) powered TeDi Alexa Solution enables users to control connected smart devices including TVs, air conditioners, home security systems and more through voice commands.

Home Security & Surveillance solutions transform basic cameras into high-powered CCTV solutions. Baby and house monitoring smart cameras can be placed inside homes to keep a 360-degree eye on children and pets. The Indoor Security Camera has the ability to sound a siren and notify users if a stranger enters their home. Dialog Smart Home has also partnered with Singer to offer customers world-renowned Dahua CCTV solutions.

The Home Connectivity solutions offers consumers Wi-Fi extenders to facilitate uninterrupted internet connectivity across the house to fit the homeowner’s lifestyle and requirements.

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CBSL implements extraordinary measures to support banking sector

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The Central Bank of Sri Lanka, considering the prevailing macroeconomic conditions and its impact on the banking sector, has decided to implement the following regulatory measures to support the banking sector to facilitate effective financial intermediation and the flow of credit to the economy, whilst ensuring the soundness of the banking sector.

• Sri Lankan banking sector maintains a Capital Conservation Buffer (CCB) of 2.5% to ensure that banks have an additional layer of usable capital that can be drawn down during stress times. An industry wide flexibility is granted for banks to drawdown the CCB (up to 2.5%), if needed, subject to restrictions on distribution to shareholders/ repatriation of profits and submission of a capital augmentation plan to rebuild CCB during a period up to three years.

• The current deadline for licensed banks to meet the enhanced minimum capital requirement (31.12.2022) is extended up to 31.12.2023. Licensed banks which are unable to meet the minimum capital requirement by 31.12.2022, need to submit their capital augmentation plan, including plans to consolidate or merge with suitable financial institutions, by 31.12.2022 and these licensed banks too shall refrain from distribution of dividends/ repatriation of profits until the minimum capital requirement is met.

• Licensed banks are encouraged to move to approaches such as The Standardised Approach (TSA) or alternative TSA for computation of risk weighted assets for operational risk for the purposes of computing the Capital Adequacy Ratio, subject to supervisory review.

• Licensed banks are given the flexibility to stagger the unrealised mark to market loss on Government Securities denominated in LKR on account of the recent interest rate hike for Capital Adequacy purposes until Q2 of 2024, subject to conditions.

• Licensed banks are granted flexibility on the treatment for Other Comprehensive Income (OCI) for Capital Adequacy purpose in line with the International Standards.

• The deadline for licensed banks to submit the document on Internal Capital Adequacy Assessment Process (ICAAP) for 2022, to the Central Bank of Sri Lanka is extended by one month, until 30.06.2022.

• As a short-term measure to support licensed banks to adjust their liquidity profiles, licensed banks are provided with the flexibility to operate maintaining the Liquidity Coverage Ratio (LCR) and Net Stable Funding Ratio (NSFR) not lower than 90% up to 30.09.2022. Furthermore, the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, on 06 May 2022 decided to restrict certain discretionary payments of licensed banks, such as declaring cash dividends and repatriation of profits, until the financial statements for the year 2022 are audited by its External Auditor, engaging in share buy backs, increasing management allowances and payments to the Board of Directors until 31 December 2022 with a view to strengthening the liquidity and capital positions of licensed banks under these exceptional circumstances.

The above measures were introduced with the aim of providing the licensed banks with more flexibility and opportunities to operate in these challenging conditions and support economic recovery, while taking measures to improve their safety and soundness. The Central Bank of Sri Lanka will periodically review the implementation of these policy measures and expects licensed banks to avail these measures in the best interest of the customers and the economy at large, while supporting the banking sector to remain resilient.

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CEAT official tyre supplier for locally assembled Tata Ace HT 

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CEAT Kelani Holdings has been appointed as the official tyre supplier for Tata Ace HT series compact trucks which are assembled in Sri Lanka by DIMO in collaboration with India’s largest automobile manufacturer TATA Motors.

 CEAT RHINO PLUS TL tyres in the size of 155R12 8PR, manufactured at the CEAT Kelani plant in Kelaniya are used for the TATA Ace HT series vehicles, popularly known in Sri Lanka as “DIMO Batta” under this project. The locally manufactured CEAT RHINO PLUS TL tyre features a zig zag pattern on its circumference and ribs with lateral notches that contribute towards uniformity and better wear and tear on local roads.

 Commenting on this latest OEM agreement of the company, CEAT Kelani Holdings Managing Director Mr. Ravi Dadlani said: “As a brand that has been at the forefront of local value addition in Sri Lanka, CEAT is excited to contribute further to the process through its association with this assembly operation. This is particularly relevant in the prevailing situation in the domestic market. We are able to provide high-quality tyres engineered for local conditions at competitive prices and ensure uninterrupted supply, while at the same time helping to conserve foreign exchange.”

In January this year, CEAT was appointed as an OEM for a range of heavy-duty trucks, tippers and light commercial vehicles assembled in Sri Lanka by Lanka Ashok Leyland PLC (LAL), a joint venture company of Ashok Leyland India. In November 2021 the brand was chosen as the OEM for Bolero City Pik-up vehicles assembled in Sri Lanka by Mahindra & Mahindra India in collaboration with Ideal Motors.

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